Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Homeschooling Again

After my one disastrous year of homeschooling Snapper, I was pretty sure I wouldn't ever do it again. But this year, I knew that putting Bubbles back in public school would be like feeding her to the wolves. She just isn't a strong enough reader to tackle the high pressure of 3rd grade in public school. So I am homeschooling my little Bubbles, and it is a much smoother road than it was with Snapper.

Bubbles has a much different personality that Snapper. Snapper is intense, high energy, absent minded, and unable to hold her focus for long. Bubbles is also intense, but her intensity comes in her desire to get her work finished. She's focused, engaged, and wants to learn. She isn't perfect by any means. She struggles with working neatly and with giving her best effort in reading. But she doesn't balk at everything I ask her to do, and she follows directions nicely.

I spent the better part of the first week of school thoroughly assessing Bubbles so I would know exactly how to tailor her education to meet her needs. She's on target in some areas, and dreadfully behind in others. Here's what we're doing.

  • 3rd grade math, which she gets with almost no effort
  • 3rd grade history, her favorite subject
  • 3rd grade science
  • 3rd grade grammar
  • 3rd grade writing
  • 3rd grade literature
  • Kindergarten phonics/spelling (The Spalding Method)
  • 1st grade reading
  • High focus on art
In addition, we're also doing a lot of drill and practice with high frequency words (Dolch list) in both reading and spelling. We're also drilling math facts like crazy, which she loves. I'm incorporating a ton of reading aloud to her. She is excellent reading comprehension, and hearing higher level texts is improving her understanding of language, as well as enriching her vocabulary. She loves to listen when I read, and I know it is good for her.

We start our school day at 8:30 and she's usually finished around 1:00. That's with a 30-minute break for lunch. Today she's still working and it's 1:00. But she's working on her art/history project. She's painting a world map on which she's going to plot out Columbus' voyages. She's building three tiny ships out of egg cartons to put on the map to place in the middle of the "Ocean Sea." Tomorrow she's putting together a timeline of Christopher Columbus' life, and she's drawing a portrait of him on Thursday. On Friday we're baking hard tack so we can try what the food was like on Columbus' ships. As she gets creative, her brain seems to absorb information more readily. I picked up several books on Columbus at the library, which I'm reading to her as she works. It's her favorite part of every school day, and she works hard at all her other studies so we can get to the history. 

We're loving it!!!

1 comment:

Debbie Mitchell said...

What a wonderful adventure!! I wish I could have homeschooled my children. They have done well in public schools but I've always had the wish.